Lucky for Pirate fans this year, they will reach the .500% mark this year. Bold statement, I understand. The pieces are finally falling together. They are back on the market (released from the death grip of Rob Nutting) and ready to be bought by some lucky millionaire. A few months back, rumors had it that Mario Lemieux wanted to buy the Pirates and turn them into the current day Penguins. Insiders told me none of that was true. Could i say no? Who would want to buy the Pirates? Possibly Mark Cuban. The man has everything already.
It has been 17 lonely years since the Pirates have had a winning record. I do have one simple question though, would you rather be in the Cubs position right now? Being good for all of these years and never winning a championship. They are on a compelling list of teams that has never won a championship in over 50 years. Trust me, that is the truthful meaning of pain.
The Pirates have a future. No seriously, they do. On a ranking level from great to suck, they are at mediocre right now. The Pirates have history of under-performing. Brian Giles, Jason Kendall, Aramis Ramirez, Jason Bay, Nate Mcclouth, Xavier Nady are who we used to have. That is a very talented team. Our pitching however, is very weak. Duke, Maholm, Burres, Morton (who shouldn't count but I have no choice) and Ohlendorf had high expectations this year. Duke is now 3-4. Maholm is 3-4. Morton 1-9 (just went to DL with shoulder soreness). Burres is 2-2. Ohlendorf is 0-3. The ERA for all of these pitchers is 3.8 and higher.
That is my one problem with this team. Pitching is our weak spot. The hitting "calibur" of this team is better than average. They just need to be consistent.
The minors coming up are a bright spot to this season. Brad Lincoln (starting pitcher) and Brian Morris (starting pitcher) are two up and coming stars in the minors. Jose Tabata is leading the minors in stolen bases and has a BA of over .320, and Pedro Alvarez is expected to play third base in the upcoming series with the Washington Nationals.
Expect Akinori Iwamura to be traded and Neil Walker to start at second midway through July. He is batting .168 and cannot be relied upon every night to hit lead-off.
Other than that, the Pirates are finally seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. Hopefully 17 long long years ago, they didn't say that.